Originally Posted by tennisforlife77
There are literally hundreds of thousands of kids playing baseball/ayso soccer etc and even in small catchment areas there is ample competition for almost any level of play. That is not true for tennis outside the one or two hot zones like South Florida or LA and so national/regional competition is critical for development beyond a certain level...
The bolded text is not consistent with my experience.
Anyone who wants to be a standout in high school or get a shot at competing after high school, needs to compete outside "small catchment" areas. Doesn't have to be at national competitions, but at least at the state/regional level.
I think the USTA changes take account of the point that at least regional competition "is critical for development beyond a certain level" as you say